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After a brief hiatus, we are pleased - nay ecstatic - to bring back the Big Nerd of the Month. For our regular blog readers, this latest winner is a name you frequently see within these revered web pages. He is a Nerd amongst Nerds. His coding chops are undisputed (can we say Clash of the Coders winner?). His hacking reigns supreme. His creativity is unmatched. In fact, he is the brains (and voice) behind our recent Cocoa Got Blocks music video masterpiece.

BNR Blog: We always like to retrace the path our Nerds took to make it to Big Nerd Ranch. It’s always interesting and makes us realize how grateful we are that the path stopped here. What’s your story?

SS: I had worked for a number of years in a startup while Big Nerd Ranch was growing, and then left in 2009. Having known Emily and Aaron, I had been wanting to be a Big Nerd for a while, but the opportunity hadn’t presented itself. One day Aaron found himself with a project that required a fairly wide breadth of skills, from hardware hacking to web services. He hired me for that role. After that project ended, I’ve been on iOS projects, mostly. I’m really enjoying the sweet spot between the constraints of mobile and the performance that these devices have nowadays.

BNR Blog: Stealing a recent question posed by frequent Big Nerd Blogger MarkD, what is your superpower?

SS: Geez, that’s a tough one. Curiosity? Optimism? Perfect pitch? I really think it’s the coffee. A good cup of coffee is worth Aquaman’s ocean telepathy anyday.

BNR Blog: We recently debuted your music video masterpiece - Cocoa Got Blocks. Just how in the world did you come up with that idea?

SS: Oh, I’ve been a fan of the original since back in the day. I sing it about things all the time. “I like this booth and I cannot lie” while going to lunch with the guys the other day. “I like my car and I cannot lie.” And then “I hate pthreads and I cannot lie” just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi, y’know?

BNR Blog: As part of the team that won the epic coding competition, Clash of the Coders, you got to pick a pretty unique prize. What was it?

SS: I got Modernist Cuisine. It’s one-third crazy takes on standard recipes with a smattering of exotic stuff (like cooking with liquid nitrogen), two-thirds food porn. The images and quality of print are outstanding.

BNR Blog: What delectable dishes have you made? And when can I come over for dinner?

SS: I’ve had a sous vide unit for a while (built one based on the Make: article) but he’s really pushed me to use it for more than just beef. I’ve gained confidence with fish, and started really killing the chicken. Now I want to do some stuff that’s too hot for the old unit, so I just built a new one that’s reliable up to 100C for continuous duty.

As for coming over for dinner, y’know, we could arrange that. No doubt all the kids would love the tire swing while we savored the good stuff. You’d bring the wine, of course.

BNR Blog: I saw a recent Facebook post about Diamond Dallas Page and his DDPYoga. (Friendly reader, you do follow "Big Nerd Ranch" on Facebook, yes?)

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